Robo Vacs for Hands-Free Cleaning 5/17/15

How good are robotic vaccums for spring cleaning?

Spring cleaning is upon us! Time to brush up your home from top to bottom. How about a robotic vacuum that promises to do the job for you? Consumer Reports just tested 6 of the newest versions for noise, run time, and cleaning performance.

Using sensors to map out a room, some do a good job covering ground randomly. Others clean the floor in a grid pattern.

All can navigate beneath furniture and in and out of tight spaces, but take stock of the area you’re cleaning. You might have to move some furniture. And you may have to pick up wires or cables that will confuse the robot or even entangle it.

Consumer Reports found that some robo vacs aren’t as good as others. The least expensive, ¬the $400 Neato XV-21, didn’t do a great job cleaning carpets or bare floors. And it missed debris along baseboards and in corners.

Instead, Consumer Reports recommends the $450 iClebo Arte. It can clean a room in less than 2 hours and is excellent at picking up pet hair.

Top ratings went to the iRobot Roomba 880 for $700. It’s excellent on carpets and bare floors because it makes more passes. And when it senses extra dirt, the Roomba spends more time there. Who doesn’t like a robot that tries a little harder?

Robotic vacuums are not for deep cleaning, like your regular vacuum. If you’re ready for a new upright, Consumer Reports named a Best Buy – the Kenmore 31140 from Sears. It is $200 and does a very good job on carpets.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright ©2015 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.